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Who is Herman Wallace? Black Panther? Muhammad Ali of the criminal justice system Died after 41 years in Solitary Confinement…

Posted on: October 7, 2013

Who is Herman Wallace? Black Panther? Died after 41 years in Solitary Confinement

This October 5, 2013                     .

In 1974, Herman Wallace was convicted of the murder of a prison guard while serving a sentence for armed robbery in Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola. He and the two other convicted men became known as the “Angola Three,” and were put in solitary confinement.

The murder conviction of Black Panther Herman Wallace was overturned. he dies 3 days after prison release, from terminal liver cancer, following 41 years in solitary confinement

One of them, Albert Woodfox, remains in solitary.

(I don’t get it: What are they supposed to rob in a penitentiary?)

The 71-year-old Wallace, who was a member of the Black Panthers, had been diagnosed with advanced terminal liver cancer. Upon his release he was admitted directly to LSU Interim Hospital in New Orleans.
Copyright 2013 Reuters

The 71-year-old Wallace, who was a member of the Black Panthers, had been diagnosed with advanced terminal liver cancer. Upon his release he was admitted directly to LSU Interim Hospital in New Orleans.

U.S. District Chief Judge Brian Jackson in Baton Rouge said: “The record in this case makes clear that Mr. Wallace’s grand jury was improperly chosen in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of ‘the equal protection of the laws’… and that the Louisiana courts, when presented with the opportunity to correct this error, failed to do so.”

The judge said that women were unconstitutionally excluded from the grand jury in his trial. In late Sept. Jackson ordered the immediate release of Wallace. He also denied a state motion to block his earlier overturning of Wallace’s conviction and ordered a new trial.

To bide his time in a 6 x 9-foot cell for 41 years, Wallace read whatever materials he could acquire, lifted weights he constructed out of newspapers, and answered streams of mail. As he continued to work on his appeal, he earned the nickname “the Muhammad Ali of the criminal justice system.”

(Just imagine living in a6 x 9-foot cell for a moment).

Teenie Verret,, widow of prison guard Brent Miller, said: “If they did not do this, I think they need to be out.”  Verret said in an interview with NBC Nightly News in 2008 that she had doubts about the case of the murder of her husband. Accounts had said the evidence against the men was weak — for example, their fingerprints were not found at the site of the crime.

More than 81,000 prisoners in the U.S. are held in solitary confinement, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. They are typically held in a cell for an average of 23 hours per day. Thousands of prisoners in California have gone on hunger strike against the practice.

Amnesty International delivered a petition with 65,000 signatures in 2012 to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office, describing the men’s solitary confinement as inhuman and degrading.

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